Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Potentially Devastating News

2012 was going so well. So well.

And then this.

I need to backtrack.

Remember in August when we saw that doctor in Boston about our recurrent miscarriages? I mentioned it briefly here.

Like everyone else, she didn't have an answer for our miscarriages. And she suggested that if money weren't a problem, we should go ahead and do surrogacy.

So after my inlaws amazingly suggested the same thing (without us really even mentioning it) we decided to go for it. I personally don't believe we've rushed into anything and here we are in February now $20K into it.

Back in mid-January I email that doctor (because she's the head of the gestational carrier department at that hospital) to let her know we're going to do surrogacy and asking her if we can do the monitoring and stuff for the cycle locally at my RE and do the retrieval/transfer/everything else in Boston. It will save us lots of money. I also tell her that our November cycle sucked and that only 3 embryos made it to day 5, and we put back 2 and BFN. She emails back and says, "Let's talk." Which is standard for my Boston doctors, so I didn't think anything of it. She sets up a phone consult for us yesterday (FEBRUARY 7th) to discuss. I thought we were just discussing the logistics of doing the cycle in two different places. But oh no, we didn't even get to that.

She tells me that she's been thinking and wondering if my EGGS are the problem. Um, excuse me, what? She never mentioned this AT ALL in our conversation last August. In fact, I clearly remembering asking her IF my eggs could be a problem and her saying that getting to 11 weeks showed it probably wasn't (obviously there's no 100% guarantee) because "bad eggs" would mean you wouldn't even implant, much less get to see a hearbeat.

But now, she says she was thinking about that last cycle and how the number of embryos dramatically dropped off and thinking it is either a uterus problem (that she thought before) or an egg problem .

She knew that we had the testing done after my D&C so I'm not sure why that doesn't prove anything. Everything was totally normal. If I had an egg problem, wouldn't something have shown up in the testing? I emailed her that question and have yet to hear back.

What she is suggesting is doing PGD on all the embryos after our next cycle to make sure they're ok. Even if some aren't ok, they may be able to pick out the good ones to use. Then, she tells me, if they pick out the good ones, we can put KNOWN good ones back in me and if I miscarry again then we know it was my uterus.

PGD is pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. It's where during incubation after egg retrieval they take one cell off of each embryo and test it for genetic diseases and chromosomal issues. It apparently doesn't bother the embryo or hurt it at all. It is how you can get a boy or a girl specifically if you want (by looking at the number of chromosomes and what kinds) and also get rid of specific diseases. They can see which embies carry which genes and not put back any embies that carry the genes for certain diseases if you desire, if you know you are a carrier. In our case, I guess they would be looking for known defect/disease that would definitely cause an embryo to miscarry. I'm not positive.

It's getting confusing. Here's the options of what could happen after we do PGD:

1. All of the fertilized eggs/embryos are perfectly fine. PGD doesn't find any issues. Then clearly it's my uterus that is the problem, and we should go ahead and use the surrogate.


2. Some of the fertilized eggs/embryos are perfectly fine, but others aren't. Perhaps we've been putting back "bad embryos" every time and my miscarriages have nothing to do with my uterus. Therefore we may not need a surrogate. We can put back the known good embryos in and see if I have another miscarriage OR put the known good embryos into the surrogate.


3. None of the fertilized eggs/embryos are good, they are all defective. There's no point in using a surrogate because she will just miscarry as well, since it's the eggs that are the problem.

Clearly, #3 scares the S*** out of me. And I'm so so pissed she waited until February 7th to tell me that my eggs MIGHT be a problem. She could at least have given me the heads up when she wrote me in January. In the meantime we've "spent" $20K that is non refundable on surrogacy and a surrogate is totally pointless if our fertilized embryos are all defective. What the heck do I do?

Gabby was supposed to get her IUD taken out tomorrow, so that just put me in even more of a bind. I don't want her to do that and then we say this won't work. I was a total mess. i ended up emailing her and explaining a little bit what was going on (but not everything so as not to scare her) and asking if she could wait on taking on the IUD until I talked again to the doctor. She emailed me back so nicely telling me I must be going crazy and she doesn't know what she would be doing if it was her. And to not worry she can get the IUD taken out on short notice if need be. So nice. I really like her.

But now we need to make a decision. I can't get ahold of that doctor yet. She had told me she'd be out of the office today so I emailed her at 4pm yesterday (really quickly) in hopes she would get it before she left, but I didn't hear back. So today I called my local RE and asked a nurse about PGD. I just asked a general question about if PGD could find issues that the testing done after a D&C wouldn't find. She said it was possible and that PGD is more in depth, but L reminded me we had more than just chromosomes tested, we had other things tested as well. (I can't remember what). But we didn't obviously have EVERYTHING tested. Maybe PGD would do every known thing? I don't know.

L also thinks the chances of every one of our embryos having a horrible defect AND zero testing to date finding that out is very slim. Which I have to agree with. It would have to be a really really really rare defect that normal testing and even a little more than normal testing doesn't find. Which I suppose is possible, but what are the chances?

What are the chances for anything with me though? Don't I have enough shit going on? Was my heart condition and subsequent surgeries not enough? All the normal infertility crap not enough? The fact that we've had multiple miscarriages and the chances of having a miscarriage after we've seen a heart beat are so small not enough? I mean, when do I stop winning the unlucky lottery and start getting something good out of life?

We've already spent $20K that we can't get back. Gabby's info was about to get sent to the clinic yesterday and the contracts were about to start getting drafted when I put the halt on it. Part of me is inclined to just go ahead as we had planned. Do the PGD and just hope there is SOMETHING to put back.

But what if there's nothing? Is it worthwhile for me to undergo a cycle, do PGD and see if anything is good? Then we would need to freeze our embryos. In order to not incur anymore costs than we already have,we would have to wait to see if we have good eggs and THEN start the contracts and the screening and wait another 2-3 months. Would Gabby even wait for us? Plus I had wanted to do a fresh transfer into the surrogate, since a frozen doesn't have as good a success rate.

But at this point, there's "only" about $5K more in costs we would incur. Is it worth it to go ahead and possibly be out an additional $5k?

And honestly, I'm not even sure it's my uterus or the eggs that are the issue. I seriously think it's just something to do with my heart defect that affects things in some way. Whether it's my circulation, or lowered oxygen saturation or something that is indefinable.

Ugh. Nothing is ever easy for me.


  1. Oh geez, what a mind fuck. I have no idea how you deal with all of this without going absolutely crazy!

    Just an opinion here, if you've already paid for the surrogate then at least that rules out one "potential" problem of it being your uterus, but geez, shouldn't she have told you this before making the offhand comment to use a surrogate?

  2. I can't beleive she waited until now to tell you, I would be going crazy as well. *Hugs* Hopefully the RE will get back to you soon with more answers instead of questions. I really hope that your previous issues were something the surrogate will solve, and that if you add PGD all of this will lead to a healthy pregnancy and baby. Wishing you both all the best.

    PS-Always feel free to steal any images you see on my blog, I stole them from the internet anyway, lol=) Glad you enjoyed them!

  3. I agree with the other commenters... why wait until now to bring that up, ugh. I wish I had advice, I'm sure this is a very difficult decions :( Thinking of you.